Maestro Spanish

Master Spanish verbs in just 5 minutes a day!

The Importance of Spaced Repetition

What is the capital of Sudan?

Don't know it? I'll tell you the answer is Khartoum.

Now imagine I ask you again tomorrow. Unless you were already familiar with the city, you probably wouldn't remember it. That's ok, I'll ask again the next day.

After a few days you will no doubt start remembering the answer. After one month it will be so drilled into your head that you will be begging me to stop asking every. single. day.

But no harm was done, at least you will then know the capital of Sudan.

But what if you were trying to learn the capitals of all 54 countries in Africa? Asking all 54 every day would quickly go from a cute, albeit annoying, exercise to downright tedious.

Could there be a more effective use of time than quizzing all 54 every day?

Enter Spaced Repetition

This is the motivation for the concept of Spaced Repetition. Even though I can tell you about Khartoum today, you will probably forget about it one day from now. But if I tell you about for a week, then you will probably remember it and not need a review the very next day.

The idea of spaced repetition is that there is an optimal time to review a fact you wish to learn: the moment you are about to forget it. This is combined with the idea that each time you review the fact, it is cemented a little deeper into your brain.

These two ideas together give a method for learning new things. Review the little nuggets of info on a schedule; if you keep forgetting it, you should review very soon, but as you remember it, the time between reviews gets longer and longer.

For example, let's say tomorrow you do not remember Khartoum is the capital of Sudan. Then in two days I will ask you again. Should you remember then, I will wait two more days to ask. If you also recall it then, I will wait five days, and so on.

If you combine this with introducing a small number of new factoids each day, you can quickly and efficiently learn all 54 capitals in very little time.

Spaced Reptition and Spanish Verbs

This is the basic concept behind Maestro Spanish. In this case, rather than facts, each item to learn is a specific conjugation of a verb. Verbs are also grouped into sets of verbs that are conjugated identically, to reduce the amount of things to learn into the smallest set possible. For example, hablar and cantar are conjugated identically; no need to memorize each individually. The Game will intersperse these identical verbs without multiplying the number of things to remember.

Making flashcards for every conjugation is a tedious exercise; there would be tens of thousounds. Additionally, tracking when to review each would be complicated.

Maestro Spanish tracks all of this for you! In doing so, it automates the complicated parts for you and frees you up to learn in a minimal amount of time. Combined with Spaced Repetition, you can master all Spanish verb conjugations in a surprisingly short amount of time.

The only catch is you have to keep up with your practice, but fortunately, 5 minutes a day will do the trick.